Re-fuse, re-made into art with RE-STORE.

A selection of toys that are laid out on a table. From books to noisy play toys, they are all brightly coloured.

Do you have any unwanted bric-a-brac taking up space? At Sense, we are taking those items that have been gathering dust and giving them a new lease of life by turning them into unique works of art. 

We are very excited to once again, collaborate with RBSA on a mentoring programme connecting professional artists with the people we support. This brilliant new programme of activities is called Making Together, which is supported using funding by Arts Council England.

Making Together involves several different mentoring and art workshops between artists and Sense art-makers with complex disabilities. The aim of the mentoring and making workshops is to help Sense art-makers develop their own artwork for display.

One part of the Making Together work is a shop project called Re-Store. Artists Rob and Andrea (art collective HA) are working with Sense art-maker Stuart to create sculptures from all sorts of things that have been donated to Sense charity shops. ‘RE-STORE’ aims to bring together the ‘RE-TALE’ premises, staff and the SENSE participants. Rob and Andrea will support Stuart to lead on a found object sculpture exhibition made from objects selected by staff at Sense shops. The project will develop a true ensemble across all areas of Sense in this collaborative capacity.

A group of people stood behind the table and posing for a photo smiling.

Four Sense charity shops in Worcester, Kingstanding, West Brom, and Kidderminster have bins for people to donate objects that they think are interesting, unusual, or even beyond use! 

This re-fuse will be re-made into an artwork, re-storing their worth from a re-fused object to an original artwork.

The aim of the Re-Store shop project is to enable Sense charity shop staff, volunteers, and customers learn more about how places like Sense TouchBase Pears support people with complex disabilities and artists with complex disabilities can make their own artwork with support from local artists. 

The project will also help RBSA, Sense, and the artists involved develop new ways of working within the visual arts to help make the visual arts more inclusive for everyone. 

The sculptures created by Stuart and Rob from the donated items will be displayed in each participating shop and then back at Sense TouchBase Pears. Artists Rob and Andrea (of art collective HA) will also record the interactions and donations made to act as a re-tale of the stories behind objects (e.g. why do people donate, why did they donate the object they chose etc.)

The bins will be in the shops until the first week of September. So far Rob and Andrea  have met some fantastic individuals who work for SENSE, and what they all have in common is that they love what they do, every one of them have told us so and it shows. They put their heart and soul into what they do. 

Everyone of them gave us a very warm welcome and were extremely keen to be part of and support the project.

Art allows the freedom for expression and as a tool of communication, it is through creativity we can cross divides and break down barriers/limitations. Project Re-Store aims to do just this. 

Making Together is such a rewarding and exciting part of creativity, and we are very excited to be a part of this working with such great people from SENSE and RBSA gallery.

The work will then go on display in the shops in November and then part of a bigger exhibition at Sense Touchbase Pears in the new year.

Author: Stephanie Tyrrell

Arts and Wellbeing Projects and Development Manager at Sense

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